The deep world of white. Digging deep into the popular "Kohiki"

The deep world of white. Digging deep into the popular ``kobiki''-cover

This time, we will dig deeper into the “Kohiki no Utsuwa”.

For those who say they know it well, and for those who say they have heard of it,
Please keep in touch.

What kind of container is Konabiki?

Take a look at your cupboard at home.
White but not pure white. Soft white with a little earthiness mixed in.
If there is a vessel with such a color, yes, it is "Kohiki's vessel".
(Maybe it's just a white glaze, but...)

Kobiki is a very popular type of vessel.
Highly popular = There are many creators, and each artist creates konabiki with a wide variety of expressions.

The secret to its popularity is its " soft white look " and " texture that changes over time ".

It does not have a homogeneous white like porcelain, but has a soft expression, so it will naturally blend in with your dining table. In addition, he has a generosity that does not choose the genre of cuisine.


Due to its structure, Kobiki is more susceptible to moisture stains than other vessels and changes over time. The way it changes with use has long been known as "Amamori".

We often hear the expression “cultivating pottery”, but this is because of the unique Japanese sensibility of admiring such “dirt” with attachment.

The secret is in the "makeup clay". What makes Kobiki Kobiki

Kobiki has a soft expression that cannot be found in other vessels.
Strictly speaking, what kind of vessel is called “Kohiki”?

Kobiki generally refers to the clay and glaze applied on the base.
What makes it different from other pottery is the process of applying the “ makeup clay ”.

Many vessels have a two-layer structure in which the glaze is applied directly on top of the base.
On the other hand, kohiki has a 3-layer structure : the base material, the clay, and the glaze.

In other words, the existence of this "cosmetic clay" is like a driving force that makes Kobiki what it is.

Highlights of Kobiki

Kobiki has a 3-layer structure of base material → overglaze → glaze.
Various expressions are born by each combination, baking method, and creative ingenuity of the artist.
Here are some of the highlights.

When the clay is applied, the part where the clay is held with the fingers is not covered and the marks remain as it is, making it possible to see the contrast between the clay and the white makeup.
It is a decoration that is born only because it is carefully made by the hand of the artist, not by machine production.
Mug cup tearing finger marks

When light pink spots appear, it is said to be "Gohon is appearing." It is one of the kiln changes that appear due to the firing method called reduction firing, and it varies depending on the filling condition of the kiln, the soil and glaze raw materials, and the way the reduction is applied (oxygen concentration in the kiln), so it does not come out uniformly.
State of Gohon

[Iron powder]
The brown dots that come out on the surface of the vessel when the iron contained in the clay and glaze melts when fired in the kiln. In mass-produced pottery, the soil is thoroughly refined and the iron is removed, so there is almost no iron powder.
Depending on the maker, they dare to put out iron powder as a texture of the material.
Appearance of iron powder

During cooling, the glass layer of the glaze cracks due to the difference in contraction rate between the clay used for the base material or the glaze and the glaze. When you use it, you can enjoy the color of the penetration and the aging.
For more information on penetrating, please see this article ↓
" Is it different from just a crack? What is "penetration"?

All the above pictures are examples of Kobiki by Takuya Ohara.
▶︎ Click here for all items by Takuya Ohara

A little story at the end. Origin of "kobiki"

Why is the white vessel called Kobiki?
I've been wondering this myself for a while, so I did some research.

The name “Kohiki” first appeared in literature in 1692.
Kobiki tea bowls had appeared before that.

For a long time in Japan, the state in which a white powdery substance appeared on the surface was called ``powder blowing'' or ``powder pulling''. It refers to the state in which the sugar that oozes out from the surface of dried persimmons crystallizes and becomes like powder, and the state in which mold grows on food. It seems that the tea master named it "kobiki" because of its appearance.

It's amazing that the name that was given 300 years ago continues to be established even in the present age of Reiwa.

in conclusion

This time, I summarized about the kohiki vessel.
Among the artists we handle, there are people who are making unique kohiki, so please check them out.
I'm sure you'll love it and use it for a long time.